Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories Review
Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories box art
System: PS2 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Square Enix 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Square Enix 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Dec. 02, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The experience points you acquire in the game are used exclusively for three options - Sora’s health, the Card Points, or learning a new Sleight (the abilities Sora has forgotten). The way these work is you have to “stack” you cards during battle. To do this you will have to select cards with the Triangle button. Depending on what is required to perform the Sleight, once you have assimilated your “stack,” you will hit the Triangle button again to perform the ability. This is a great way to both defeat your enemies quickly (in some cases) and to expend cards you have quickly, which can be a dangerous thing, since the cards are your way of attacking and healing Sora.

Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot

In addition to Sora’s story, you will be able to play as Riku through his one mode called “Reverse/Rebirth.” While this is not new to the game, there is a battle against Zexion that is new. Unfortunately, the “newness” of this port is not all that great. In addition to a few extra battles, the music has been upgraded from the GBA version. However, it is what you’d expect from the Kingdom Hearts games you have already played on the PS2. This is not a bad thing, as there are times you can tell when a track has been tweaked ever so slightly in order to say it is fresh and “new.” The real shining aspect as far as the audio goes is the voice acted cutscenes. In the original North American release of the game, the voice acting was reduced to simple grunts, laughter, and the occasional battle cry. Now there are full cutscenes with voice acting from the voices we have come to expect of the franchise - like Haley Joel Osment for Sora. But let’s be honest, having the voice acting and a few additional battles aren’t exactly the main reasons you’d want to pick this title up. It is for the graphic upgrade this title has received. Upgrade is sort of an understatement.

Using the same graphic approach as the first Kingdom Hearts, the characters models look great in nearly every instance. They are as vibrant and colorful as you remember, with similar animations they had in the previous titles. The environments look spot on when compared to the PS2 version of the game as well. Unfortunately, there are times that the environments don’t look finished. Whether this is due to the limits of Sora’s memories or a technical flaw I’m not sure - certain rooms capture a little “box” of the environment, and as you look around you will only see the darkness encompassing everything. It is safe to say though, this doesn’t detract from the experience of the game.

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After what seems an eternity for news about the impending Kingdom Hearts III, most fans are willing to play anything with Kingdom Hearts attached to it. Thankfully, there’s no real reason to not experience this version of the Game Boy Advanced title. New battles, voice acted cutscenes, and beautiful upgrades to the graphics all make this title a great addition. If you have played the original there may not be as much there for you, but for those that missed out for whatever reason, there’s now no reason for you not to pick this title up. At 30 bucks, this is a deal, and it will help pass the time before the release of Birth by Sleep and 358/2 Days. Just bring your flow chart with you.

By Matthew Walker
CCC Project Coordinator

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
Fully realized in 3D is great for this port. However, the lack of fully rendered backgrounds throughout the levels really dampens the experience you’d expect.
3.1
Control
The card battle system works fine in the 3D setup, but for new players, it may take too long for you to get the hang of it.
3.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is a typical ingdom Hearts score. When there is voice acting, it is nice to hear the familiar voices of the characters.
3.5
Play Value
The card battle system isn’t exactly fresh considering it was similar on the GBA, but for new players it will be a challenge they must experience.
3.5
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • World-renowned creator and character designer Tetsuya Nomura and his team once again unite the magical world of Disney with the characters of Final Fantasy, inviting fans to an enchanting gaming experience
  • An essential piece in the Kingdom Hearts franchise, which has shipped over 12 million units across the globe, comes to North America at long last
  • In addition to Sora, players can control Riku in this adventure that bridges the gap between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II
  • A full 3D remake of the original GBA release, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories offers a refreshing rendition of the hit title for the PlayStation 2 system
  • The talented voice cast from the North American releases of Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II return to breathe new life into the beloved characters
  • The mini-game catalog has been completely renewed, now with four brand new experiences accompanying the main adventure


  • Screenshots / Images
    Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot - click to enlarge Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot - click to enlarge Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot - click to enlarge Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot - click to enlarge Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot - click to enlarge Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot - click to enlarge Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot - click to enlarge Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot - click to enlarge Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot - click to enlarge Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot - click to enlarge Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot - click to enlarge Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories screenshot - click to enlarge

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